United Way Worldwide (UWW) and the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation (HWCF) today announced a partnership aimed at promoting active, healthy lifestyles to combat growth in the obesity rate, especially among young people.
UWW and the HWCF signed a Memorandum of Understanding to provide a framework for cooperation to reverse increasing obesity levels in the United States.
“This partnership will help United Way advance our 10-year goal to get 1.9 million more kids healthy and fit,” said Stacey D. Stewart, executive vice president for Community Impact Leadership at United Way Worldwide. “There is a link between youth health and other success factors like reduced rates of absenteeism and educational achievement.”
Both UWW and HWCF agree on the importance of encouraging “energy balance” – not taking in more calories than they burn through physical activity and normal growth – especially among young people.
“One of the best ways to promote healthy communities is to support and promote healthy, active lifestyles,” said HWCF executive director Lisa Gable. “An important part of that is encouraging Americans, especially young people, to pursue a ‘calories-in, calories-out’ approach – taking in fewer calories and expending more through increased physical activity.”
About one-third of American adults are obese, and two-thirds are obese or overweight. Moreover, 20 percent of kids are obese, with 15 percent considered at risk of obesity. The condition is closely associated with many chronic conditions, ranging from diabetes, to hypertension, to cardio-vascular disease.
United Way and the HWCF will participate in joint communication, outreach programs, forums, media activities and other programs to address the issue. Both organizations are committed to using evidence-based approaches to support and promote healthful diets, physical activity, daily energy balance and healthy body weights in an effort to restore energy balance among children.